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The Posies, Oranger, Deathray Davies

Iron Horse Music Hall, Friday

Calling all power-pop nerds! For fans of bright, melodic pop music, served up with chiming guitars, brash drums, and layers of sweet, sweet harmony, there may not be a better bill this year than this Friday-night triple-threat. The Posies are back on the circuit after a seven-year layoff, pimping a new album (Every Kind of Light) and single (“Conversations”). That makes songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow a couple of busy guys: They also make up half of the current incarnation of Alex Chilton’s legendary Big Star, one of power-pop’s pioneering acts. Opening the show are two tried-and-true, dues-paid purveyors of the pop: San Francisco quintet Oranger, whose New Comes and Goes is among the year’s more pleasant surprises, and Dallas mods Deathray Davies, touring in support of their latest, The Kick and the Snare. (Sept. 30, 10 PM, $15, 20 Center St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-0610)

Street Sweeper CD Release

Hudson Duster, Saturday

We want you to punch yourself as hard as you can. Did you do it? OK, now tell me what was missing? What would have made this experience of Mel Gibson-style self-flagellation that much sweeter? Two things: One, someone else should have been doing the punching. Preferably a jelly-belly, wife-beater- wearing, tattooed tough guy with a buzz cut. Second, it would go down so much easier with some down-home Troycore metal blasting in the background—preferably performed by a band featuring a member of the Keyser family. Where can patrons of the tough-guy things in life find their Shangri-la? How about at the Street Sweeper CD-release show at the Hudson Duster? It’s either that or another Saturday night drunk, watching bum fights on VHS. (Oct. 1, 8 PM, $8, 40 3rd St., Troy , 687-2391)

Rock for Animals

Valentines, Saturday

The Mohawk Hudson Humane Society serves as a municipal shelter for more than 20 towns in the Capital Region, each year saving the lives of abused and abandoned dogs and cats. However, their goodwill does not come cheap. So this weekend Valentine’s will host a benefit concert in an effort to raise money for the shelter. All of the proceeds from this show will be used to buy pet food, medication and supplies. More than a handful of local bands are on the bill for this benefit, including Great Day for Up, To Hell and Back, Second Hand Smoke and Black Cat Elliot. There are a whole lot more bands on line to help the animals, so come on out and support them and the good cause they are playing for. (Oct. 1, 7 PM, $10, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

The Ultimate College Weekend

Pepsi Arena, Saturday and Sunday

College students in the Capital Region who are having symptoms of cabin fever will have a chance to cure their ailments this Saturday and Sunday at the Pepsi Arena. The Ultimate College Weekend, an event designed to market new and exciting technologies and products to college students, will be chock-full of things to do, including live music both days, free giveaways, and an assortment of activities. The event’s agenda includes a dodgeball tournament hosted by the National Dodgeball League, opportunities to climb a 40-foot rock wall provided by the EMS Raise the Roof Tour, a fashion show, various comedians, celebrity appearances (such as Gary “BabaBooey” Dell’Abate of the Howard Stern Radio Show) and much more. Musical performances include sets by New York City’s Back to Blonde, a three-piece indie-rock band; ZOX, a violin-accompanied reggae-punk outfit, and other local groups hoping to gain support. (Oct. 1, 11 AM-5 PM, Oct. 2, noon-5 PM, $10, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 476-1000)

Robert Fripp

Revolution Hall, Tuesday

For many of us, Robert Fripp coming to town is nothing short of progtastic. Make that prog-freaking-tastic. If Fripp’s 1960s version of King Crimson didn’t invent progressive rock, they were prog’s first great band; his 1980s version of King Crimson were, arguably, prog’s last great band. In between, in the ’70s, Fripp experimented with electronic, ambient sounds in his “Frippertronics” collaborations with Brian Eno. Now, that’s what we call music: tape loops and austere, intellectual guitar improvisations. Fripp’s solo show at Revolution Hall harkens back to these works; “solo soundscapes” are Frippertronics for the post-analog era, with tape machines replaced by digital devices. It will be Fripp, his guitar, and the ones and zeros. So, please, no shout-outs for “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part 2.” Or, as Fripp himself writes on his Web site: “Better, if possible, that performers and audiences drop the demands they carry and which relentlessly accompany the commercial culture.” (Oct. 4, 8 PM, $27, 425 River St., Troy, 273-2337)

kings of leon

Kings of Leon, the Like

Revolution Hall, Wednesday

You’re probably gawking at the ticket price right now, wondering, “Who the hell are these Leon guys and how can they be charging 25 bucks?” Let us count the reasons. First off, you probably do know who Kings of Leon are, whether you realize it or not: The band opened for U2 on their spring tour; their song “Molly’s Chambers” was the soundtrack for a young couple’s frolic in a recent Volkswagen ad campaign; the photogenic young Followill brothers (and cousin) even served as models for a 16-page fashion spread in Rolling Stone this spring. And, in case the credentials alone didn’t do it for you, their music—a mix of Brooklyn hipster-grunge and Southern boogie—is actually quite good. If that still seems worth only a Jackson or so, we’ll contend that openers the Like, based on their strong debut Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?, are worth at least another five-spot. (Oct. 5, 8 PM, $25, 425 River St., Troy, 273-2337)

Also Noted
heartless bastards

We think you may find their essence rare: Reunited post-punkers Gang of Four, perhaps the most ripped-off band of 2004 (thanks, Franz Ferdinand!), will play Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass., tomorrow (Friday), with special guests Morningwood and Men, Women & Children. The group will rip themselves off on an upcoming two-CD set for V2 Records, a collection that will consist of rerecorded versions of tracks from their four original LPs (8:30 PM, $25, 413-584-7771). . . . New York buzz band the Upwelling will play Valentine’s on Friday; Five ’Til Midnight, Ben Tyler Band, and Fixer are also on the bill (8 PM, $7, 432-6572). . . . With autumn comes the turning of the leaves—the maple leaves, that is: Canadian grunge survivors Our Lady Peace play Northern Lights on Friday, with special guests Danko Jones and Pedestrian (7:30 PM, $20, 371-0012). . . . Jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton performs at the Egg on Saturday (8 PM, $24, 473-1845). . . . Punk vets Pennywise return to the area for a show at Saratoga Winners on Saturday; H20, Death By Stereo, and A Wilhelm Scream open (8 PM, $17, 783-1010). . . . We secretly love it when our friends become successful: The Kamikaze Hearts open for Fat Possum recording artists Heartless Bastards at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Mass., on Saturday (10 PM, $13, 413-584-0610). . . . Where’s Bruce Cockburn and his rocket launcher when we need it most? Matchbox Twenty frontman and all-around ego-on-wheels Rob Thomas comes to the Palace Theatre on Wednesday; by the grace of Starbucks, Antigone Rising will open (7:30 PM, $45, 465-3334).

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